Locating Agency: Space, Power and Popular Politics
Editor: Fiona Williamson
Date Of Publication: Feb 2010
In the latter half of the twentieth century, historians came to consider “politics” to mean more than simply the formal institutions and apparatus of government, run by a small minority of wealthy, educated elite men. The word has been adopted by historians of different genres as synonymous with power, or agency, and the scope for “political” activity has been widened to incorporate a variety of everyday events and ordinary people.
These collected essays explore the quotidian experience of politics in the form of popular politics, religion and popular culture. The contributors consider, for example: the politics of the alehouse, the politics of Methodism, the interrelationship between plebeian agency, custom and memory, the politics of economics, dramatic agency and the politics of the spiritual parish. Collectively they suggest that political activity was embedded in almost every aspect of life. In addition they draw on interdisciplinary theory, in particular the “spatial turn” and how it can be used to better understand popular agency.
Dr Fiona Williamson is Lecturer in Early Modern History at the University of East Anglia. She is currently working on a larger project which explores space, gender and agency for the middling sorts and below. Other projects include mapping social topographies and urban popular politics.
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From Border States in the Work of Tom Mac Intyre: A Paleo-Postmodern Perspective
''Catriona Ryan has more than achieved what she set out to do.She has emphatically presented Tom Mac Intyre as a writer with a distinctive voice who not only provides a crucial link in the chain that goes back through Kavanagh to Yeats, but as a bridging figure, a transgressive author whose reflections on the Irish literary scene, and on writing more generally, have much to tell us about the ways in which constrictive critical currents can cut off living literary streams. It is clear from Catriona Ryan's painstaking excavation that Mac Intyre has been wrongly neglected. Her thoughtful and perceptive critical intervention will remedy that wrong.''
- Willy Maley, Litteraria Pragensia, 22:44 (2013), 131-134, p. 134.
“This is a critically independent piece of work that very much constructs and defines its own project, and maps an intellectual terrain of its own. It is an impressively original and also critically self-assured piece. It is marked by a sense of intellectual brio and also by the excitement of discovery.”
– Dr Steven Vine, Swansea University
“Since Tom Mac Intyre is a writer and dramatist who has received very little critical attention, this work intervenes in an under-researched area and offers an innovative and valuable extension of the frontier of knowledge in the field of Irish literary and dramatic studies.”
– Dr Aidan Arrowsmith, Manchester Metropolitan University